Legisprudence : Practical Reason in Legislation book cover
1st Edition

Practical Reason in Legislation

ISBN 9781138256866
Published October 17, 2016 by Routledge
350 Pages

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Book Description

This book establishes legisprudence, in contrast to jurisprudence, as a legal theory of rational law-making. It suggests that by rejecting the common wisdom about the nature of political law-making, legislation could be improved and streamlined. Using the methods, theoretical insights and tools of current legal theory and philosophy of law in a new way, the book suggests the creation of law by legislators rather than government. Raising new questions and problems of the validity of norms, the book opens a new perspective on legitimacy of norms, their meaning and the structure of the legal system. In distinguishing legitimacy and legitimation of law, the book ventures into the philosophical roots of legal theory and suggests the articulation of a new conception of sovereignty. In shifting the emphasis to the position of the legislator and legislation, this book opens a number of new insights into the relationship between legislative problems and legal theory. Its main claim is that legislation should be justified by the legislator.



Luc J Wintgens (1959) is professor of law and jurisprudence at the University of Brussels (HUB-KUBrussels). He is master of laws from Yale University and from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he also obtained his doctorate in law in 1990. He is master of philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (1985) and from the Université Paris II (1984). He is the director of the Centre for Legislation, Regulation, and Legisprudence at the University of Brussels. His scientific work mainly focuses on the foundations of the theory of legislation or legisprudence, on which he published several articles in international journals. He is also the author of a number of books on positivism and he edited at three volumes on the theme of legisprudence : Legisprudence. A New Theoretical Approach to Legislation (Hart Publishing, 2002), The Theory and Practice of Legislation. Essays in Legisprudence (Ashgate, 2005), and Legislation in Context. Essays in Legisprudence (Ashgate, 2007).


'This is a timely and important book. It consolidates the author's pioneering work which shifts jurisprudential inquiry from judicial reasoning to legislation. It rigorously establishes a theory of legislative practical reasoning and deals with jurisprudential topics in a new and refreshing light. Its analysis of legalism and its forms is particularly incisive. It will set the standard for the philosophical study of legislation.' Zenon Bankowski, Edinburgh Law School, UK 'Luc Wintgens, to his everlasting credit, had taken the lead in institutionalizing the study of legislation within the greater framework of legal theory. His new treatise, devoted to this field, is called Legisprudence. It offers new perspectives on classical and modern issues, and it promises to be the definitive work in the field.' Stanley L. Paulson, Mercator Guest Professor, University of Kiel, Germany